Hippie Chick was born June 13th, 2008. When she was 12 weeks old, she arrived at her permanent residence with David. During her first week in her new home, David took off work to bond with her. He said she was, ‘so small and cute and has brought so much joy in my life’. They quickly started training with chasing rollers. Once that was mastered, they moved onto the jumps, being careful as her young joints were still developing. They started basic competitions in 2009 and one year later kicked it up to high gear with traveling to competitions from Tennessee to Canada.
They were quickly winning games and managed to become MADDogs Reserve Club Champion for the season. Right from the start they were doing well with Toss and Fetch games but are now putting their focus to their Freestyle routines. David and Hippie Chick qualified for Skyhoundz Worlds in their first year competing, gaining 13th out of 29 competing in the Open Expert division at the International Worlds Competition. This accomplishment was almost unheard of being in the sport for less than a year and with a two year old dog. The pair then qualified for USDDN Nationals. At Nationals in the Freestyle Finals, Hippie Chick and David finished a respectable 30 out of 51 teams. But better yet, took 3rd in the Nation in the USDDN Super Pro National Championship. Later that weekend, they tied for 4th in the USDDN Super Pro World Championship. Among these fantastic competition medals, David and Hippie Chick were awarded the FDDO International Pro Disc Dog Skills Champion.
“I love to compete in FDDO Challenges; it’s a lot different than some of the other associations. Some games have obstacles you must toss the disc through and then have your dog catch it. It’s a real challenge and a lot of fun.”
WANT YOUR DOG TO BE A DISC DOG?
A lot of it has to do with the type of breed you are working with. Not all dogs have the drive or instinct but most dogs want to please their human. Working/ herding dogs seem to be the most common. Early on with some simple tests you can sometimes tell if a dog has what it takes. Try starting out with a basic obedience class. Not only do you learn basic obedience and a few “parlor” tricks you learn to communicate with your dog. Another benefit is that it helps socialize your dog. Some of the herding breeds need a little extra help as they like to be protective. But the training never ends. Hippie and David just recently finished a freestyle class with a fellow disc dogger, Carolynn Williams. It was a great class and although they learned just the basics it has given them a great foundation to add that “wow” factor to their routines. It’s important to keep dogs active and that means their brains too, especially the working class dogs. They need a job or you both end up unhappy. It is very important to keep your dogs’ health in mind. These dogs are athletes and need that extra care just like human athletes do. It doesn’t matter if you are competing seriously or just having fun with your dog tossing a ball in your back yard. They work hard for us and need that attention.
WORDS FROM THE DISC DOGGER
It’s a little intimidating to stand in the middle of a field with sometimes hundreds of people watching and then the music begins. Just trying to remember a routine was very tough at first and still can be. But the more you practice (with and without your dog) the easier it becomes.
I enjoy competing and love a challenge. I’ve always enjoyed Frisbee and have always wanted a dog. I’ve never met so many friendly and cool people. Disc doggers love to promote the sport and are always eager to help. A good friend I met through the sport, Susan Markham with VPI, has taken me under her wing and has taught me a lot of the health needs of a working dog as well as how to take care of them when working them hard. I’ve also been very fortunate to have met MADDogs. They took me in and helped Hippie Chick and I become the team we are today. I’d like to give special thanks to Ray Lowman, Frank Montgomery, Bob and Melanie Griggs, Frank Buckland and Sally Zinkhan as well as many of the other members and disc doggers I’ve met along the way.
My search for a sponsor started out simply as a means to keep disc doggin’. VéRUS Pet Foods was my first choice as I’ve fed Hippie VéRUS since a pup. Since using the food, she has been in great shape, full of energy, power and stamina, has had a great coat and has been a healthy dog. Since our sponsorship, I’ve learned how awesome of food VéRUS is. I am proud to represent a company that takes the health of dogs seriously. I also like the idea of belonging to a team, to have that support and a team that is rooting for you. VéRUS Pet Foods is not only supporting my dog’s health and needs, they are helping me do what I love to do… spending time playing with my dog.
Thank you VéRUS!